Mural project gets greenlight

Local artist will install 100-foot mural in the Stanley Park area of Kitchener

Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

David Whitley, a local artist from Kitchener, has recently received permission from the city to create a 100-foot-long by 8-foot-wide outdoor mural along the back of a fence on River Road in the Stanley Park area.

“I just decided to draw some ideas that I feel families, children and young people will enjoy and hopefully it’ll be bright, colourful and something interesting and something different in our neighbourhood,” said Whitley. “We’re kind of just excited about getting it going.”

According to Whitley, he began painting in January, but has been working on sketches and preparing for the mural since last summer.

He calls the mural The Cat’s Pajamas, a name he determined after looking up names to reflect lightheartedness and the theme of childhood. He wants the mural to reflect how children interpret different images.

“For me, there were just certain things from childhood that I remember,” explained Whitley. “Like, the first pair of running shoes in the spring or … I’ve got another part in [the mural] about swimming in the lake and there’s sea serpents, dinosaurs and roller coasters.”

“Not necessarily concrete image ideas, they’re more like dream-like fantasy ideas that reflect the ideas or feelings that I remember having as a kid.”

Whitley has worked in advertising and paints caricatures and other larger pieces as a hobby. He has been interested in drawing since he was a little kid and continued to pursue it throughout his life.

“I always tell the same story about when I was in grade one and the teacher took my desk and put it out in the hall because I kept drawing on it,” he said.

“The principal [came] down and they gave me a cloth and a spray bottle and made me clean the drawings off of my desk. Why they wouldn’t have just supplied me with some scrap paper I don’t know. But I’ve always liked drawing so it’s something that I’ve always done throughout my life.”

He will be installing 25 four-foot by eight-foot panels on his backyard fence, which overlooks River Rd. However, before this can be done he hopes to raise money for the supplies for the project, which he is backing himself.

He started a Kickstarter campaign and has raised nearly $4,000 of the $6,500 goal. The campaign ends on April 1.

“We’re getting a little nervous whether or not Kickstarter is gonna — whether we’ve got enough supporters … we’re starting to worry about whether or not we’ll meet our goal or not,” Whitley said.

“I think it would be great to meet the goal but I think we may have set the bar a little high.”

If all goes well with the campaign, Whitley hopes to have the mural completed by mid-July.

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